Authorities in Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche have created a new agency — the first of its kind in Mexico — to protect the Peninsula’s jungle areas and to reduce deforestation.

Announcing the new Maya Jungle Observatory in Merida Tuesday Sept. 29, officials said the Yucatan Peninsula became the first region of the country to feature an agency that contributes to the monitoring and creation of public policies directed to reduce the deforestation and degradation of its territory. Officials said this will allow them to fight the effects of climatic change.

Yucatan’s Secretary of Urban Development and Environment (Seduma), Eduardo Batllori Sampedro, presented the strategy to deal with these problems and at the same time implement better practices on the part of agricultural producers and farmers.

With the coordinator of Alliance Mexico REDD+, Sébastien Proust, Batllori emphasized that the Peninsula loses forest vegetation of 80,000 hectares annually, which is equivalent to an emission of around five million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. He said in addition that these offer diversity of environmental services and favor processes of resilience in the region, in the matter of climatic change.

“The proposal to create this Observatory is intended to combine, to arrange and to interchange forest information with academic institutions and civic organizations that offer a methodologic support and scientific bases to the governments, to be able to establish better public policies for the well-being of the families who live there”, emphasized.

Accompanied by Angelica Lara Perez, director of planning and policy of Campeche’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), and the director of climatic change of the Secretariat of Ecology and Environment (SEMA) of Quintana Roo, Jose Roch Vázquez, Batllori Sampedro emphasized there that there are more than 635,000 hectares of low sustainable community use, making it important to have a tool to generate concrete actions, in order to diminish this problem.

Meanwhile, Sébastien Proust emphasized that the new agency is the only alliance that exists in Mexico that allows combining technical capacities in all levels, to contribute to the efforts against deforestation.

“It is important to know where is the deforestation to be able to reduce it, for that reason we must take actions to fight against this problem caused by producers and farmers”, Proust said.

Also, he indicated that as a result of this regional strategy, better practices in the rural sector are being promoted to stop this situation, working with the producers to intensify the farming activities with techniques like improved Mayan milpa, the “silvopastoriles” agriculture of conservation or systems.

Similarly, officials want to promote sustainable forest handling, by means of a regulated cutting in ejidos and communities.

maya jungle conference
Announcement of the new Maya Jungle Observatory in Merida Tuesday Sept. 29 (Photo:

Source: Diario de Yucatan